Initiative to digitize supply chains in industry

Initiative to digitize supply chains in industry

Michael Möller
Michael Möller
7 mins
January 15, 2024
January 15, 2024

Discover Manufacturing-X, the answer to your challenges with digitized supply chains in industry. Experience progress today.

The Manufacturing-X initiative is an answer to the challenges of digitization in industry, particularly in the area of supply chains. It aims to create a digital data ecosystem that enables the trusting exchange of data between companies and increases industry competitiveness. With its software gBOmes, gbo datacomp offers an innovative MES for manufacturing companies. Efficient MES and optimal data preparation are the prerequisites for Manufacturing-X.

Strong foundations enable rapid implementation

The successful implementation of the Manufacturing-X initiative is made possible by solid foundations created by the Industry 4.0 community. These principles form the basis for the digital transformation of supply chains in industry. The most important foundations include the Asset Administration Shell standard for Industry 4.0, the European GAIA-X initiative and the Catena-X lighthouse project for digitizing supply chains in the automotive sector.

The Asset Administration Shell standard defines a uniform and standardized data interface for Industry 4.0 components. This enables seamless integration and communication of various systems and machines. GAIA-X, on the other hand, aims to create a trustworthy and secure infrastructure for the exchange and processing of data in European industry. Catena-X, in turn, focuses on digitizing supply chains in the automotive sector and offers an exemplary approach for networked and transparent cooperation between companies.

These strong foundations are crucial for the smooth implementation of Manufacturing-X and provide the necessary framework and standards to create a digital data ecosystem that enables the trustworthy exchange of data between companies. By using these principles, the implementation of Manufacturing-X can be accelerated, which ultimately contributes to increasing industry competitiveness.

The role of the Industry 4.0 platform

The Industry 4.0 platform plays a central role in the specification and implementation of Manufacturing-X. As the linchpin of the Industry 4.0 community, it offers space for innovative thinking and promotes the development of a Manufacturing-X community. The platform's established processes enable a cross-industry dialogue on Manufacturing-X and the deepening of various issues.

The Industry 4.0 platform acts as a network of networks and think tank for industrial digitization. It brings together companies, associations, scientists and politicians to jointly develop solutions for the challenges of Industry 4.0.

The Industry 4.0 platform as a driver for Manufacturing-X

  • The Industry 4.0 platform provides space for cross-sector dialogue on Manufacturing-X.
  • It promotes the development of a Manufacturing-X community.
  • The platform's established processes make it possible to deepen various issues in the area of digital supply chains.
  • The Industry 4.0 platform uses its partner network to make Manufacturing-X a global standard for data-driven industry.

The close cooperation between the Industry 4.0 platform and Manufacturing-X enables an exchange of knowledge and experience, which contributes to the further development of the initiative.

Manufacturing-X and the digitization of industry

The manufacturing-X initiative aims to drive forward the digitization of industry and increase competitiveness through the use of digital technologies. The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning play a decisive role in this. By creating a comprehensive data ecosystem, Manufacturing-X enables secure and consistent data exchange between companies and promotes digital sovereignty.

With the Internet of Things, physical objects are equipped with sensors and communication technologies to collect data and communicate with each other. Through AI and machine learning, this data can be analyzed and used to optimize processes, predict errors, and make automated decisions. This increases efficiency and enables new business models.

By digitizing and using IoT, AI and machine learning, industry can optimize its production processes, improve quality and respond more flexibly to customer requirements. Manufacturing-X provides the platform and data ecosystem to fully exploit this potential and drive the digital transformation of industry. It creates the basis for a networked and data-driven industry of the future.

Kopa35c projects, Catena-X, Cofinity-X, and transformation hubs: The harbingers of Manufacturing-X

Manufacturing-X is currently in the preparation phase and promises to drive forward the digitization of supply chains in industry. A central element of the program are the KOPA35c projects, which, similar to the 35c economic stimulus package for the automotive industry, are intended to support the manufacturing industry. These projects provide a platform for the implementation and application of digital solutions in companies in the sector.

One example of one of these projects is Catena-X, a data ecosystem for the automotive industry. Various companies work together to enable the trustworthy exchange of data along the entire supply chain. Another project is Cofinity-X, an operator of core services for Catena-X. Cofinity-X supports companies in implementing and using the data ecosystem.

In addition to the kopa35c projects, there are also transformation hubs that are intended to transfer the results of research and development projects into the practice of small and medium-sized companies. These hubs provide a platform for exchanging know-how and networking companies with experts from science and industry.

Kopa35c projects and transformation hubs: An important step towards manufacturing-X

  • The kopa35c projects support the manufacturing industry in digitizing supply chains.
  • Catena-X is an example of one of these projects and creates a data ecosystem for the automotive industry.
  • Cofinity-X provides core services for Catena-X and helps companies implement the data ecosystem.
  • Transformation hubs transfer scientific findings into the practice of small and medium-sized companies.

The kopa35c projects, Catena-X, Cofinity-X and the transformation hubs are harbingers of Manufacturing-X and are already showing the opportunities offered by digitizing supply chains. These projects create a strong foundation for the continued implementation of Manufacturing-X in order to bring industry to a new digital level.

Industry-specific lighthouse projects and interoperable data rooms

In order to realize the goals and visions of Manufacturing-X, industry-specific lighthouse projects are to be developed. These projects serve as exemplary examples of the successful implementation of the initiative and show how interoperable data rooms can be set up in practice. Existing standards such as OPC UA, administration shell, MTP and Namur OA will be used.

The use of OPC UA, an open communication protocol for industry, enables secure and reliable data exchange between the participating companies. The management shell serves as a standard for the uniform description and communication of assets in production. MTP (Module Type Package) supports the integration of modules and machines into the existing infrastructure, while Namur OA promotes process automation in the chemical industry.

Examples of lighthouse projects:

  • Development of an interoperable data room for the automotive industry to optimize data exchange along the entire supply chain and achieve efficiency gains.
  • Development of a data ecosystem for the food industry that enables transparent traceability and quality assurance of products.
  • Implementation of a digital twin concept in the mechanical engineering industry to increase production efficiency and optimize maintenance processes.

These industry-specific lighthouse projects are intended to show how companies can benefit from interoperable data spaces and how digital transformation can be successfully implemented. The focus is on the trustworthy exchange of data in order to create a common basis for the data-driven industry.

The official manufacturing-X website

As an interested company or actor, you can find further information about the initiative on the official Manufacturing-X website. The website provides a comprehensive overview of the goals, benefits and projects of Manufacturing-X. You can learn about the various aspects of digitizing supply chains in industry and how Manufacturing-X helps to increase industry competitiveness.

The associations VDMA, ZVEI and BITKOM have also set up their own websites on the subject of Manufacturing-X. There you will find specific information on the activities and projects of the associations as part of Manufacturing-X. These websites offer you the opportunity to dive deeper into the subject matter and find out about the latest developments and trends.

The Manufacturing-X website and the websites of the associations are a valuable resource for companies that are interested in digitizing supply chains and want to benefit from the benefits of Manufacturing-X. Here you'll find relevant information, best practices, and inspiration for your own digital transformation. Visit the websites to learn more and actively participate in the development of Manufacturing-X.

What are the benefits of Manufacturing-X and on which assumptions is it based?

Manufacturing-X promises various added values for industry, including the use of digital technologies, the development of new business models and increasing competitiveness. By implementing Industry 4.0 and using data ecosystems, companies can work more efficiently and optimize their production.

The initiative is based on assumptions and insights gained in various Industry 4.0 projects and initiatives. This includes the assumption that the digitization of supply chains creates significant added value for industry and strengthens competitiveness. It is also assumed that the trusting exchange of data between companies is a central part of digital transformation.

An overview of the added values of Manufacturing-X:

  1. Optimizing supply chains through the use of digital technologies
  2. Development of new business models and sales potential
  3. Increasing industrial competitiveness
  4. More efficient collaboration between companies

By building on the findings and assumptions of Industry 4.0, the initiative is helping to fully exploit the potential of digitization and to lead industry into a data-driven future.

Manufacturing-X: data rooms for industry

Data rooms for industry are a central concept of Manufacturing-X. These data rooms enable companies to exchange data in a trustworthy way and work together on digital solutions. The data rooms should be cross-industry and interoperable in order to facilitate cooperation between companies.

The manufacturing-X data rooms offer the advantage that companies can share their data securely and securely without losing their digital sovereignty. The trustworthy exchange of data strengthens cooperation in industry and opens up new opportunities for innovative business models.

With the help of data rooms, companies can work together to develop digital solutions and benefit from the potential of digitization. The exchange of data and know-how creates synergies that make it possible to develop more efficient and sustainable solutions in industry.


Manufacturing-X is a promising initiative for digitizing supply chains in industry. By using digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning, a digital data ecosystem is to be created that enables the secure exchange of data between companies.

Cooperation between companies, associations, science and politics is crucial to making Manufacturing-X a global standard for data-driven industry. The initiative offers the opportunity to fully exploit the potential of Industry 4.0 and to increase industry competitiveness.

Manufacturing-X is based on the foundations that have already been laid in various Industry 4.0 projects and initiatives. The creation of cross-sector lighthouse projects and interoperable data spaces enables a trustworthy exchange of data between the participating companies.

Overall, Manufacturing-X is an important initiative that promotes the digitization of industry and supports industrial companies in developing innovative business models and increasing their competitiveness in an increasingly connected world.

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